Printing in White: Everything You Need to Know

Printing in white seemed to be impossible until recently. In order to print in a white ink, you need to use special printing facilities that are usually run by printing experts. This is because the availability of white ink and toner cartridges were limited and there were few printer models that could make this happen. This means that printing in white wasn’t an option for businesses if they don’t have a special printer in the office. 

But with the latest technological advancements in the printing industry, printing in white is now possible in an office set up. Printers like Xerox VersaLink C8000W gave a lot of new possibilities for commercial printing.

Printing in White: Why Was It Difficult?

As mentioned, white ink printing has been a challenge in the past because it requires the use of a specialist printer. A typical home and office printer uses the four-color cartridge system called CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) which mixes different quantities of each color to produce a specific and particular shade. 

But even if you mix any combination of these 4 colors, you will never come up with white. This is the reason why CMYK printers AKA most printers available today are best in printing darker colors on white paper. 

CMYK Printers and How They Work

CMYK Printers assign a numerical code value for each of the four colors in the cartridge. They mix these colors to create new ones. The amount of color to be mixed will be determined on the new color you want to achieve. If you want to achieve pure white, it’s not possible because the value is zero for each of the 4 colors. Printers interpret this value as “off” or blank. It simply means that any white images or text that you want to print out will be left blank by the printer. 

So practically, it means that the white you see on your printouts from CMYK printers isn’t toner or ink. It’s just the background color of the white paper you’re printing on. Thus, the color of the background will depend on the color of your paper. 

Printing in White: Alternatives and Past Solutions

Since printing in white was almost impossible. People created solutions to get around this problem. Despite all the trial and error, people find that two methods can be used: finding and using a close-to-white color as an alternative or filling in the blanks left by a traditional printer manually. 

Close to White Color Alternative

The secret here is to trick the printer by finding a color that is close to white. Substitute any pure white color in the image or document to print for a different yet close to white shade. When you replace the pure white color with a different shade, the printer will assign a numerical value instead of the zero value that is ascribed to pure white. 

Manually filling in

This alternative method is usually done for personal and at-home projects. Basically, what you need to do is to print the document and fill the white part manually hand painting the white spots the printer left blank. This approach isn’t suitable for office documents as it requires a lot of time and that can be inefficient especially during a busy work day. 

Printing with White Toner

Although these methods have been a great solution in the past, they’re not efficient for everyday users. The latest printing technology allows us to print in white in an efficient and cost effective way. 

They have released CMYW (cyan, magenta, yellow, white) printers to make printing in white faster and more efficient. These new CMYW printers can handle high capacity and high speed printing even in white. 

Now, you can easily print pure white colors on colored media like printing visually pleasing invitations, eye catching menus, window clings, colorful decals, and many more. This latest printing technology can boost the contrast of the other CMY colors on the colored media. It can also print a white underlayer on the print media before using it as a canvas for the actual printout. 

Need some printing supplies? At Ink Toner Store, you can enjoy great savings and outstanding customer service on top-notch ink and toner cartridges. Shop with us now and experience the difference.

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